Colorful couch co-ops are booming lately, adding to the stack of games that I want to play with my friends. Tools Up! is one such game, but this time you and your friends are looking to renovate a house.
Tools Up! has a pretty simple concept: You just need to finish renovating a house before the time runs out. Often there is trash to pick up, paint to move around, furniture that might take a few people to move carefully. Eventually you have to start taking resigning the floor and the walls, all while following the blueprint. Checking back with the blueprint, which you have to leave on the floor, will tell you what percentage of each task that has been completed.
When you enter the house, the first step is to locate and open the blueprint. This will then tell you exactly what needs to be completed within the house before the timer runs out. From there, you’ll start cleaning the place and putting down carpet or painting walls. Cleaning is important, as any spills or trash on the floor makes for a slippery surface that will knock you over. Messes can also be made by pushing over trash cans or throwing something too hard.
When it comes to the actual building, you’ll be given supplies like paint cans, laminate flooring and a roll of carpet. You can pick these up, move them and even throw them over walls. When you want to use them you must tap the ‘pick up’ button then hold it for a set amount of time. That will fill up a bar, which you can then deplete by doing the task on a selected tile. This control scheme takes a lot of playing to actually master, as the pick up button is the same as the action button and the button needed to use a material. A lot of the time, you just end up picking up the material you want to use.
While playing a demo level at Gamescom, I felt that Tools Up! is a great concept, but at this point, really lacks a lot of polish. None of the controls are explained and instead rely on players understanding little in-game pop-ups of the buttons, which in places doesn’t work. Rotating the entire house required use of the bumpers on a controller, however that’s only told to you after you have used, and are done with, the blueprint, so I didn’t really know what it was asking of me.
Speaking of the blueprint, nothing actually told us to grab that at first. I feel that Tools Up! would benefit from showing the blueprint in the loading screen, then leaving it in the level to double check and use to see how much is completed. There were a few of these little bumps when it came to controls, but the idea behind the game can really become a great game, so I hope these issues are ironed out.
Tools Up! is coming to PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One later in 2019.